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Booker T. Comes to Visit

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The post to follow is my way of thanking you for indulging me with my self-indulgent, gloaty posts about my party. We only just disassembled the groaning boards in the kitchen and living room, after scraping the dishes and trying to find their rightful owners. There was precious little left. I did spend about four hours the day of the party making a delicious vegetable chowder. But there was no room for it on the table, so it sat on the stove, where it stayed as untouched as the driven snow. By midnight, I had transferred it to giant Tupperwares, but I left it out on the counter to cool. At 3:30 AM I came in to find the lids had popped off the Tupperwares, and the chowder was oozing down the cabinet faces, having fermented. Being greenish and full of chunkage, you can imagine what it looked like. Nice. In retrospect, shucking and cutting the corn off two dozen cobs, Cuisinarting six large zucchinis and four Vidalia onions, and making a four-hour vat of chowder was kind of like being sent off to boil water when the baby's coming. It kept me occupied and not fretting, and that, I suppose, is worth something.

photo by Shila Wilson

As I think about the self-indulgence issue, though, you all go warned here. You're reading the blog of a Leo, and there's nothing Leos love more than to be queen for a day, if they swing that way. I forget who took this photo. Maybe Phoebe. But it is a perfect representation of how I felt to have Patrick playing in the garage (you can see him over my left shoulder, peeking out like Lincoln on the back of a penny), my friends hanging out grooving on the music and chowing on scallops and crabcakes, the weather smiling perfectly, and a night of revelry ahead of us.

Lights, in this picture and the food picture, by Jen, purveyor of good and beautiful things. Photo by Shila, ditto.Thank you, sweet B, for a night against which all to follow will be measured. (BOTB, here shown heading up the Orangs in his shiny shirt). Photo by Shila.

I’m sittin’ in a railway station
Got a ticket for my destination…

Yep, at it again, on the fly, and this time I was caught flat-footed by the party and guests and aftermath, such that I’m having to come up with a blog post each day. Oh, I don’t like being a grasshoppa. I have plenty of pictures but no time. But I do believe it’s time for a Chetfix, don’t you? Whoa. Take it easy, Chetfans. I can hear you yappin' all the way to Providence.

My dear friend Jen has been a fan of Chet Baker’s since day one, and when the time came for her sister to acquire a puppy, there could be only one destination: Pups Will Travel, our source for all things black-and-white and googly-eyed. There are puppeh pix of Chet on that site, under Pictures, but the susceptible among you must beware the page titled, "Pups Looking for Families."

So Jen’s sister traveled over to eastern Pennsylvania from Columbus, and picked up little Booker T., continuing the tradition both of great Boston terriers named for musicians. Let’s see. We know a Jack Black, Ella Fitzgerald (Baker’s half-sister), Otis Redding, Chet Baker, and, stretching it a bit, we know a big brindle named Oscar, who might just be named for jazz great Oscar Peterson. I don’t think it is a coincidence that we name these dogs after people, or that they seem to beg for both a first and last name. They are something more than dog, something almost human.

Booker T. is precious. He is just as cute as Chet Baker was, and that's saying something. At 11 weeks, he promises, like Chet, to be a dog of both size and substance. He’s got big paws and heavy legs and a gorgeous head. His marking are picture-perfect; he’s got the white tux, muzzle, belly, front legs and collar that people envision when they think of a Boston terrier. Time will tell if he gets spots all over his tuxedo the way Baker did. There are 38, but who’s counting? Phoebe is. At least somebody in our family has time to inventory Baker’s polka-dots.

Photo by Phoebe Linnea Thompson

Zick: Baker, stay here, you little goofball. Jen: Ow ow ow ow ow takethepictureplease.

Please note Booker's pink belly meat. This is expressly for blowing raspberries, while keeping your cheek out of danger. It's an art that we fans of male dogs learn to perfect.

So on the day of my birthday party Jen came down with Booker T. so she could hang party lights and we could watch a little dog TV. Of course we had to pose with the animals. But mostly we watched them be Bostons.

Chet was delighted to have a pup around, with the caveat that he never, ever forget who is Numba One.

For his part, Booker must have been the alpha pup in his litter, as Chet was, because he’s like Texas toilet paper—he don’t take s--- off nobody. That said, he’s utterly sweet, while being assertive. And his ears both flop the same way. (I had to learn with Chet that Boston puppies have floppy ears until the cartilage hardens, and they get the classic bat-eared look).
I would like to think that this is the definitive puppeh portrait of Booker T. If you want to know how to take a good picture of a Boston puppeh, you must get him all tuckered out first, preferably with another Boston, and then lie down on your belleh using a telephoto. Otherwise they will come romping up and lick your camera.

I was delighted that Chet enjoyed having Booker around, not least because, having lived with a Boston, I cannot imagine life without one, without the warm smell of popcorn paws and catfish breath in the morning, without the interludes of hilarity that have become necessary for me to carry on in this all-too unhilarious world. So when Chet reaches the appropriate point of dotage, I intend to call on his breeder Jane for an understudy, and this was a good test of how that scenario might pan out.

It was hilarious, and absolutely riveting, to watch Baker play with Booker. Keep-away is the Boston’s forte, and they played it tirelessly.

But Chet made it easy for Booker, deliberately passing the toy beneath the puppy’s nose, just begging him to grab it.
Here is one of Shila's photos of the pair at play. Booker has a long but straight tail, in contrast to Chet's screw tail. Lots of people ask if we have cropped Chet's ears and tail, and I tell them that he was born perfect. So was Booker.

Tomorrow, the Boston brothers will demonstrate how to destroy an indestructible dog toy.
This is your Chetfix for July 30, 2008.


When I saw that first picture of puppy's little pink foot, I thought, "I want to pick up that paw and smell it."

Where else but your blog would we feel comfortable saying such things?

Oh, but we LOVE to read about your parties! They are simply the best.

If only Bostons weren't so prey driven I think they would be the perfect dog when I retire. But needing to always have cats in my life, I think I might settle on an older rescued bulldog.

Baker and Booker photos are just the icing on the cake.

We just can't get enough about the party. And we love the Leo in you, which really comes out in this post. I think you sometimes suppress that when you are in ant mode. Give us more. This party could last all week and we would still be here.

Silly me...I immediately thought Booker T was Washington, not Jones. I've got to get out more.

I thought it was for Booker T and the MG's.

My DH is leaning toward the Boston side for our next dog.

Who among us has not done the exact same thing with a pot of soup left to cool?

Those pup play pics are too cute.

Yay--a Chet fix. But now you have upped the ante--because you added Booker T. We will now need a double fix in the future.

Christine, you can acclimate a Boston puppy to anything. Lots of them get along just fine with cats and parakeets and hamsters. Adult Bostons, set in their ways, might be another consideration.

NCMT, I need to get out more, too!

Lil' Lynne gets the milkbone-he was named for Booker T. and the MG's.

KG Mom, Booker T. might be a one-time only deal. He's 2 1/2 hours away. So enjoy him while you can!

It's a good thing I wasn't at the party. I would have dog-napped Booker T., Jen would have tracked me down to do bodily harm to me, and both of us would be in jail over one black and white bundle of joy.

I will know when the time is right for "my" Boston. Some day ...

~Kathi, who guessed Booker T. and the MG's, but didn't realize it was a contest

I can't even imagine having such a night of revelry in my honor! Lots of memories made and stored to keep in many minds I'm sure. :c)
Baker is adorable with Booker. Cute overload!

Folks, Booker T Jones IS the Booker T of Booker T and the MGs. We're talking about the same great guy.

Deat Katdoc:
I am afraid that Booker's dad (Tim) would have beat Jen to the punch in hunting you down to get Booker back! He truly is the joy of our lives right now! FYI - He WAS named for "Booker T and the MGs!"
Happy belated b-day Julie - I am sure that Booker will be back to visit - after all - who can resist the excitement of entering the world of celebrities with Uncle Chet?!!! Beth (Jen's sister)

Thank you for the Simon & Garfunkel earworm and the delightful post!

Booker T is is sweet but I can't get passed that photo of the Queen. Priceless.

Happy Birthday a little late Julie!
What a party! WOWZA!
What pictures of Chet and Booker T!
(Miss Phoebe takes super pictures too.)
Loved the one of you toasting your party! Sweet Sweet Sweet!!!

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